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Character, global and local

Webber, J. (2007) Character, global and local. Utilitas, 19 (4). pp. 430-434. ISSN 1741-6183


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Philosophers have recently argued that we should revise our understanding of character. An individual’s behaviour is governed not by a set of ‘global’ traits, each elicited by a certain kind of situational feature, but by a much larger array of ‘local’ traits, each elicited by a certain combination of situational features. The data cited by these philosophers supports their theory only if we conceive of traits purely in terms of stimulus and response, rather than in the more traditional terms of inner mental items such as inclinations. We should not adopt the former conception, since doing so would impede pursuit of the ethical aims for which we need a theory of character, whereas retaining the latter conception will facilitate this pursuit. So we should not revise our understanding of character in this way.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 Cambridge University Press. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Utilitas. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Philosophy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 23 May 2006
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 19:35
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0953820807002725
Status: Published
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0953820807002725
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1214

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